WA the hold-out as hard borders crumble

The South Australian government’s COVID-19 reopening roadmap will allow fully vaccinated travellers from Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT to visit the state without having to quarantine from 23 November.

Premier Steven Marshall says that 80% of SA residents aged 16+ are expected to be fully vaccinated by this date. However, SA has ruled out abolishing other COVID-19 restrictions until 90% of residents aged 12+ are fully vaccinated.

The quarantine period for international travellers will be reduced from 14 days to just seven on 23 November.

This comes after the Queensland Government last week announced that the state would reopen to fully-vaccinated people arriving from interstate hotspots from 17 December.

Meanwhile, the federal government today announced that overseas departures will be permitted without approval from 1 November for fully vaccinated Australians.

An Australia-Singapore “travel lane” will also take effect from 8 November. Australia will join the 11 countries that are already participating in Singapore’s “vaccination travel lane” arrangement, which allows people to enter the country without the need to quarantine. Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Seven Network today that “we are very close now to the reciprocal arrangements with Singapore”.

By contrast, WA Premier Mark McGowan maintains that his state will not open its borders to travellers from New South Wales and Victoria before the end of the year, even if they are fully-vaccinated. He contends that people who are vaccinated can still spread COVID-19. McGowan adds that opening the states borders to people from coronavirus-hit would most likely require the reintroduction of COVID-19 measures that have been rarely used in WA since the pandemic began.

It will be interesting to watch whether WA chooses to close its border to Queensland and SA once they reopen to the virus states.

How long will WA remain shut off from the rest of Australia?

Unconventional Economist
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  1. And after 3 monts of begging I am finally allowed to return to SA.
    In Nov will be escorted by the cops from Yamba to a medi-hotel in Adelaide.
    Followed by a solitary 2-week quarantine (the 2nd quarantine for me in a year).
    By the time I finish they will reopen the border to the double-vaxed like myself…

  2. 80% has been demonstrated and accepted to be sufficient to allow freedom of movement. It is not his country to decide whether citizens can enter or leave the artificial state border once citizens have complied with what health authorities have asked of them. It is a truly great international embarrassment for allowing us into the situation which we present ourselves: international travel permitted freely from the Eastern states yet at the same time citizens of this country cannot move freely within it. By mid December Western Australia will have locked out all Australian states and of course all international movement, truly in line with Perth being the most isolated capital in the world.

    • Truly a “great international embarrassment” as you put it created by the Eastern States. I was free to travel to WA until NSW let COVID in by letting a limo driver go in and out of a quarantine zone day in day out. Using hotels near the CBD for quarantine near populated dense city suburbs like Bondi doesn’t help either.

      WA/QLD and other states are paying for it however politically which is entirely predictable. No good deed goes unpunished. Weakest link I guess dictates policy.

    • Pffft…And who are you? Not a Premier…not a MB member either…go and comment your nonsense at a plebian news site

  3. arescarti42MEMBER

    I reckon WA will open up quickly once the sandgropers get wind of all their mates back east heading to Bali.

  4. “How long will WA remain shut off from the rest of Australia?”

    – So long as enforcing such measures boosts the re-election prospects of the emperor of WA.

  5. ‘He contends that people who are vaccinated can still spread COVID-19.’

    I love the use of the word ‘contends’ it gives the perception it is an opinion with no facts to back it up. Or no facts the journalist of the article is bothered to check as it doesn’t follow the religion of vaccination being the panacea for COVID-19

  6. Whispers form the airlines tells me it’ll come down to reliable quick result testing. Get a test before you hop on and after you hop off the plane. That will provide confidence to jurisdiction you land in. It’ll also allow for immediate quarantine if needed. Belts and braces when combined with the vaccination record.

    • kiwikarynMEMBER

      No it won’t. We have 2 cases in Christchurch today (first ones in almost a year) from someone who took a PCR test before getting on the plane to fly down from Auckland, it was negative. 3 days later she was sick, 2 days after that her partner is sick. Now the whole city is waiting to see how much its been spread.

  7. Tassie TomMEMBER

    McGowan is doing exactly what China wants him to do. When the borders open Easterners will travel to WA and find a Pine Gap style Chinese military base.

  8. I feel sorry for those people locked out or isolated from a thriving, covid-19 free Western Australia!
    Life in WA has returned to normal. I attended a packed dance performance by graduating students at WAAPA last night and attended a massive portrait gallery exhibition earlier in the week. The WA Ballet and the Black Swan Theatre are both performing to full houses, while pubs, shops and cinemas have no restrictions, other than logging in with the app so that identification can be rapidly found IF there is ever a covid case recorded.
    People are out jogging, walking or cycling around the State and plenty are paddling on the Ocean and in the Swan River, even as some (very few) folks now chose to wear masks on public transport, just to be comfortable.
    Broome has become the new Bali! The place is booming as those from the colder south migrate to get some warm weather and the wonderful local beer.
    I am not sure that other cities around the world have been so fortunate and I am certain that blowing all this to go to Bali would be a miserable result. The vast majority of sandgropers would not swap their version of normality with their mask-wearing, social-distancing cousins over East or anywhere else. What possible motivation would push people to knowingly infect their neighbours with a virus that kills 1% of those who become infected?

    • If life in WA has returned to normal, why is there still a State of Emergency declared?
      Would it be more accurate to say you’re living inside the world’s largest panic room?

      • I have not noticed a state of emergency!
        However, I do know that there is a global pandemic raging outside of WA, so instigating a legal framework that enables rapid action, outside of the normal legal process, to protect citizens would seem like a logical precaution against the sort of idiots who would flout regulations that could threaten 70% of Australia’s mineral exports.
        Just a thought!

        • Those who do not move do not notice their chains. As for idiots flouting regulations. the guys that are telling you there’s a global pandemic like Kerry Stokes and the federal politicians are all traipsing around the world and across state borders, not worrying about pleb hotel quarantine because they’re connected to State Daddy Marko, who can’t fix hospitals.

          • M
            The PM does 2 weeks quarantine after overseas trips. There are at least 3 idiots in jail in WA right now after they falsified documents to gain entry and Nev Power has been charged, due in court soon.
            Are you seriously saying that a pandemic that has so far killed at least 5 million and more likely over 16 million people, according to The Economist, is not an actual thing?
            Please stay away from WA

          • The borders are open to me, just like they are to coronavirus, Nev Power, Kerry Stokes, Twiggy Forrest, the diplomat family with C-19 the other week, and all the people who got in for the footy. Have they sent anyone to jail with C-19? No. You’re not ‘safe’ and you never will be. McGowan isn’t protecting you from a thing, you’ll be imprisoned at home at the first hint of a sniffle.

        • Frank DrebinMEMBER

          5 million deaths out of a global population of 8 billion – panic stations !!!.

          Never change WA, the world is such a terribly frightening place for you.

          • Frank, The Economist and others have sourced excess death records that indicate a toll of over 16 million. Whatever!
            Just as well precautions have been put in place. Just imagine what the toll could have been if everyone acted like the pandemic science denialists and anti-vaxer brigade, conspiracy theorists! In that world, the death toll could have been massive with an ‘R’ factor of 1.3, cases multiple rapidly unchecked.

      • M – Panic Room or Oasis? Why the negative analogies? Same meaning, different interpretation.

        Consider the opposite scenario to your position – if NSW hadn’t stuffed up and Australia was still COVID free would we consider letting it in? Probably not. The freedoms you lose, and the certainty you lose don’t make up for it.

        Granted a bigger “oasis” makes it easier to maintain it with less sacrifices (e.g domestic travel with no restrictions) but still.

    • Gee, this brings back the memories of the life I once took for granted :”-(
      Enjoy while it lasts!

    • macrofishMEMBER

      I love all the noise around WA’s boarder and as a victorian with family in WA i know its all just people on the east coast crying.

      No one in WA gives a single fuck.

      • Too sad about the numbers in Victoria today.
        Folks in WA will only harden their ideas about opening the border while ever +27 people are dying with COvid each day.

    • I don’t really understand the comments against WA/QLD/etc. The fact that politically it has become the least path of resistance to let the virus into the local community is predictable yet astounding at the same time. I can only surmise that’s the PR team of the NSW government at work turning a failure on their side (letting delta in via really not taking it seriously on the risk control front) into a win and a crumbing of support in other states. “Get out of the cave” or “Fortress Australia” – what a zingy one liner. Why not call it “Oasis Australia” given thats kind of what it was against COVID? Probably because it doesn’t suit the media and power players at work here. Easier to use negative language/analogies to frame and shape opinion to the masses.

      Whoever came up with that political strategy PR deserves a bonus. They’ve somehow flipped what’s good and bad in the eyes of the electorate within the space of a month. We really do deserve the government we vote for. Because objectively the facts don’t lie but I guess we live in a post truth world now so framing/messaging is all that matters.

      On most objective measures (cases, deaths, everyday freedoms, sports running, pre–COVID life) I would rather live in WA right now. Most people are instead hearing the media and the constant attacks against COVID Zero states. As I predicted here 2 months or so ago if you can’t attack the leaders (e.g. WA, QLD) white ant their support from within (the voters).

      After all these people really want open borders even though the average person really doesn’t need them “that open”. The freedom of international travel is still there for most people – I just need to quarantine for 14 days. So what? Its not like you can’t go overseas at all. Just take a longer holiday to make it worth it. Society will adjust. But in your day to day life you have more freedoms than anyone else and more importantly you don’t really have to talk about COVID constantly all the time! They are just living.

      • Now , this young chap, even though not a member has got it right.I will chip in $35 for his membership, anyone else care to support?

        • I don’t pay not because of monetary reasons but because I find in these political discussions I’m more worried about traceability of payments to me. As you mention I’m somewhat young – which means there’s more of me to lose for speaking the obvious but sometimes unpopular. If there was a way to pay anonymously I would of done so quite awhile ago.

          I don’t always agree with the site, but at least they are willing to bring the issues to light for discussion. That’s worth money.

      • IronorebustMEMBER

        McClowan is fighting the last war..He would do better to position the WA people to the challenges ahead not pretend he is our over protector. He is a one trick pony.

        • Maybe but I don’t envy his position. The loser states have backed him into a corner. Sometimes its better to be a failure in the herd, than be the lone success. In that way he is paying the political price for NSW failure, and is now as I said in a corner.

          – If he opens up he lets in the virus changing WA’s way of life permanently. That wouldn’t be popular.
          – If he stays close because most of Australia is infected now the safe zone keeps getting smaller. Other states failing shrinks the zero COVID cage. That’s also a position that can be white anted by the media.

          No good deed goes unpunished.

          Inevitability he will annoy a large section of society either way. I do think this is a political stroke of genius by NSW and their spin doctors for “changing the narrative” making living with COVID sound more appealing. Which objectively on every measure with some critical thought can’t be true.

          Would you think he was an “overprotective” premier if the other states didn’t stuff up and were also COVID-free and travel therefore was free domestically? Probably not. Your opinion can only take root because he has been successful in containing the virus thus far and few others have.

          • AK don’t presume I’m from the East. The border restrictions have had huge impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods. WA might be COVID free but they have been living in fear, ready to leave work early to empty supermarket shelves at a moments notice for over a year in expectation of the next snap lockdown that will turn into something worse than Dan ever dreamed of. The bed wetting that eventually happens in Perth will sink the city back into the swampland it’s built on.

          • If WA residents were thinking like that just imagine how the VIC and NSW felt with big lockdowns. The threat of targeted snap lockdowns is still there constantly exacerbated by open borders. Just won’t be publicized so you won’t see it because you know, open borders and its all great there political messaging.

      • Yeah… Australia is Corrupt.

        The corruption is in our Parliament and our Media. Money is essentially buying the message we hear today. Its massively widespread and influencial. Even people lurking in comment sections of MB and social media are acting on behalf of the various Lobby groups. The message is acting contrary to public opinion. There is no public opinion anymore, its all paid lobbyists screaming you down.

        As long as these lobbyists are being funded, the situation will only get worse and worse.